Tahini is one of those ingredients, that if I see it listed on a menu or included in a bake I instantly want to choose it. Its SO delicious and so versatile – you can add it to brownies, buns, cakes etc but also dips, hummus, dressings etc. Tahini is made from toasted ground sesame seeds and has a slight nutty taste – to me it tastes like subtle hazelnuts. Its a really nice alternative to peanut butter in a bake, as you still get a nutty flavour but its just that little bit different.
You can get tahini in all supermarkets, but for this cake I would really recommend getting a good quality jar. Because tahini is the star of the show in the traybake, you really want it to shine. Lower quality tahinis tend to be thick, gloopy and used like peanut butter as a paste. Whereas tradtitional tahini should be thin and smooth, with water being added to thicken it if required. I used Belazu tahini which is just perfect.
So wheres the tahini in the cake?
The chocolate cake is extremely light and deliciously rich in flavour. I added a little brewed coffee to help bring out the chocolate flavour and also added a swirl of tahini just before baking. The cake isn’t marbled but it adds a hint of nuttiness to the cake that adds nicely to the richness. The buttercream however is where the tahini really shines.
I decided to create an american style buttercream; just unsalted butter and icing sugar whipped together. With that in mind, please don’t scrimp on the whipping time. If you have an electric mixer (stand or handheld), please please use it. You want to whip it for a good 5-10minutes until its practically white in colour. The air incorporated into the buttercream will keep it super light and fluffy, rather than a dense layer on top of the cake. Then once its sufficiently whipped you can add in a generous amount of tahini that turns the buttercream gorgeously nutty. This pairs perfectly with the rich chocolate cake. Its just divine.
Sometimes a simple traybake is all you need. It whips up quickly, and is perfect with a cup of tea to wash it down! I hope you love it too 🙂
On with the recipe:
Chocolate Tahini Cake
- 50 g cocoa powder
- 90 ml freshly brewed black coffee
- 100 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 275 g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 175 g plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 125 ml whole milk
- 60 ml tahini
- 150 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 300 g icing sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 80 ml tahini
- For the cake: Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan and grease and line a 12x9inch baking tin. In a small bowl, stir together the cocoa powder and freshly brewed black coffee to a thick paste without lumps. Then set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa paste, butter and sugar for 1-2minutes until thick and well combined. Then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Fold in the flour and baking powder until just combined. Then gently stir in the milk until combined. Pour into the lined tin, then dollop the tahini on top and swirl gently.
- Bake for 30 minutes until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove and leave on a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the buttercream: Using an electric whisk beat the butter, icing sugar and salt together for 5-10 minutes until very pale (almost white), light and fluffy. Then add the tahini and whisk again to combine thoroughly. Using a palette knife, spread the buttercream evenly ontop of the cooled cake.